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Healthcare & Life Sciences, Innovation

FT Pharma AI and Data Summit

Improving analysis and decision-making in R&D and beyond

Boston |
Speakers include:
Arpa Garay

Arpa Garay


Kim Branson

Kim Branson


Cindy Hoots

Cindy Hoots



Artificial intelligence and data analytics are increasingly valuable tools for pharma companies, enabling them to accelerate clinical trials and unlock the value of products earlier. As data applications become more advanced, the whole healthcare value chain could be affected. New forms of drug discovery will emerge and pharma workforces will need to evolve. At the same time, the collection of real-world evidence using AI platforms will alter the role of patients. 

Join us at the FT Pharma AI and Data Summit in Boston on October 1, 2020, to find out how artificial intelligence and data analytics can be deployed effectively in drug discovery, clinical trials, market access and other areas. Gain valuable insights into the opportunities and risks different stakeholders may face in the age of AI, where everything is defined by data.

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/01/2020 08:00:0010/01/2020 17:00:00trueFT Pharma AI and Data SummitArtificial intelligence and data analytics are increasingly valuable tools for pharma companies, enabling them to accelerate clinical trials and unlock the value of products earlier. As data applications become more advanced, the whole healthcare value chain could be affected. New forms of drug discovery will emerge and pharma workforces will need to evolve. At the same time, the collection of real-world evidence using AI platforms will alter the role of patients. Join us at the FT Pharma AI and Data Summit in Boston on October 1, 2020, to find out how artificial intelligence and data analytics can be deployed effectively in drug discovery, clinical trials, market access and other areas. Gain valuable insights into the opportunities and risks different stakeholders may face in the age of AI, where everything is defined by data.FT-Pharma-AI-and-Data-Summitc4f211a3871aa3fa8be1fc514ff6cfc9MM/DD/YYYY

Register your interest

Agenda - 1st Oct

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Opening Remarks
  • 9:05am
    Fireside Chat: Embracing AI as a Tool for Drug Discovery

    Artificial intelligence is more than just a tool to increase the efficiency of clinical trials. Hear about how GSK is using AI to interface between human genetics and functional genomics to discover novel targets and develop new medicines.

    Kim Branson, SVP, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, GSK

    Interviewed by Sarah Neville, Global Pharmaceuticals Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:35am
    Panel: Investing in Pharma's Data-Driven Future
    • What levels of investment in AI and data solutions are we seeing across the pharma industry? 
    • Who are the new players are coming into the pharma-healthcare ecosystem how are existing ones being forced to evolve? 
    • What are some of the major strategic partnerships on AI in healthcare and how are they working out? 
    • How can partners build trust on issues like patient data-sharing?
    • What regulatory challenges have been raised by the rise of AI and big data?

    David Berry, Founder and CEO, Integral Health

    Robert Coughlin, President and CEO, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

  • 10:20am
    Case Study: Saving Time and Money with AI Solutions

    Decision-makers need tangible examples of how AI can cut costs and speed up development. Hear how one drug developer has been adapting its clinical trial models to do just that.

  • 10:50am
  • 11:15am
    Adapting Pharma Company Culture to the Rise of AI

    Artificial intelligence has the potential to strengthen decision-making frameworks in pharma companies, but only if it is trusted. How difficult could it be for companies to adjust to the new reality? Have we been seduced by the idea that complex solutions are better than simple ones?

    Cindy Hoots, Chief Digital Officer and CIO, AstraZeneca

  • 11:45am
    Presentation: Advancing Personalized Medicine with AI Platforms

    The ability of AI platforms to interrogate a wide range of information in real-time will be key to the rise of personalized medicine. By analyzing patient data on things such as lifestyle and environment, it may be possible to determine better treatment plans.

  • 12:15pm
    Panel: Transforming Pharma R&D with AI and Data Analytics
    • How is AI making trials cheaper, faster and more representative?
    • How are AI algorithms for clinical trial software validated? 
    • How can errors that occur because of AI be isolated and addressed?
    • To what extent can AI enable clinical trials to be run without regular controls? 
    • How is AI changing drug discovery?
    • How do decision-makers avoid overreaching in terms of reliance on AI and data solutions?

    Faisal Khan, Executive Director, Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, AstraZeneca
    Krista McKee, Head of Insights and Analytics, Takeda Data Sciences Institute
    Niven Narain, Co-founder, President and CEO, Berg, LLC

  • 1:00pm
    Networking Lunch
  • 2:00pm
    Value of Real World Evidence

    With an increasing number of large real world data sources, faster hardware to process big data, and advanced software to draw insight from messy data, this talk will examine how companies can extract maximum value from real world data and turn it into real world evidence.

    Simon Dagenais, Director, Global Center of Excellence in Real World Evidence, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

  • 2:30pm
    Panel: Futurizing Pharma Workforces for the Age of AI
    • How do different job functions stand to benefit from advances in AI?
    • How will departments interact differently as AI and data applications become more advanced?
    • To what extent could AI and data solutions be interpreted as a threat to some jobs?
    • Why should AI and data professionals work in pharma over other industries?
    • How can AI and data-related skills be developed within companies? 

    Bill Leister, Senior Vice President, Analytics, Informatics and Business Intelligence, Pfizer

  • 3:20pm
    Closing Address

    Arpa Garay, President, Global Pharmaceuticals, Commercial Analytics and Digital Marketing, Merck

  • 3:50pm
    Closing Remarks
  • 4:00pm
    Drinks Reception

Speakers (11)

Arpa Garay

Arpa Garay

President, Global Pharmaceuticals, Commercial Analytics and Digital Marketing

Arpa Garay is President, Global Pharmaceuticals, Commercial Analytics and Digital Marketing at Merck. In addition to leading data analytics and digital marketing worldwide for headquarters and country operations, she also leads the commercialization of in-line and pipeline assets as well as business development across specialty, hospital and chronic care businesses, at MSD the tradename of Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA. Prior to this appointment, Arpa was Senior Vice President, US Vaccines, leading a cross-functional organization to improve public health and deliver on business objectives across a portfolio of pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines. She was also the Managing Director of Norway, where she worked closely with the government on healthcare policy, developed innovative approaches to securing patient access, and led the subsidiary to become the number-one pharmaceutical company in the country. She has worked across a range of therapeutic areas and spearheaded multiple product launches. In addition to her commercial roles, Arpa led the corporate ten-year global scenario planning and worked on the US integration of MSD and Schering-Plough. Before joining MSD in 2006, Arpa worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb and as a strategy consultant at the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte). She has been externally recognized for her leadership as Fortune’s Most Powerful Women: Next Gen, Business Insider’s Top 30 under 40 in BioPharma, and Philadelphia Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 business leaders. Arpa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she focused on medicine, public health and public policy.  

Kim Branson

Kim Branson

SVP, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Dr Kim Branson is SVP and Global Head, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at GSK, based in San Francisco. Kim oversees a global team of more than 50 engineers and machine learning researchers. The GSK AI/ML team is focused on the application and development of AI methodology at the intersection of functional genomics and human genetics for target discovery, causal machine learning and clinical applications. Kim joined GSK in 2019 from Genentech where he was Head of AI, Early Clinical Development. Kim received his PhD in Computational Drug Design from University of Melbourne. Kim has been involved in large-scale machine learning and medical informatics initiatives for more than 15 years, over a range of ventures from computational drug design to disease risk prediction. Kim received degrees from the University of Adelaide, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He was a Peter Doherty fellow and received postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He then held leadership and consulting roles in the pharmaceutical and medical informatics industry, notably at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Following this, Kim worked extensively in online search as a founding member of Discovery Engine (acquired by Twitter in 2009) and in health informatics as the Founding Chief Scientist of Gliimpse (acquired by Apple in 2017), and the Founding Chief Data Scientist at Lumiata, a predictive health analytics company.

Cindy Hoots

Cindy Hoots

Chief Digital Officer and CIO

Cindy Hoots is the Chief Digital and Information Officer at AstraZeneca, with an aspiration to leverage technology to make a meaningful impact in the lives of 1 billion people. Cindy is focused on driving business outcomes through technology to directly impact revenue, profit and communities. She is passionate about inspiring organizations to embrace the future and is motivated by creating tangible impact within organizations. Cindy is an enthusiastic international speaker on many topics including digital, future trends, exponential organizations, responsive organizations, ethical implications of technology and the role of IT in driving business performance.

Peter Bergethon

Peter Bergethon

Vice President and Head of Digital and Quantitative Medicine

Peter R. Bergethon M.D. is Vice President and Head of Digital and Quantitative Medicine (DQM) at Biogen. He leads the identification of technologies and methodologies that transform drug development. DQM creates value by leading the transition of clinical practice in Biogen’s core and emerging growth areas from a qualitative to a quantitative discipline, and connecting the Clinical with the Research enterprise, to advance therapeutics and personalized medicine. Peter came to Biogen in 2017 from Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development where he was Vice President and Head of the Pfizer Innovation Research Lab within the Early Clinical Development group. At Pfizer, Peter led both the Quantitative Medicine group and the Innovation Research Labs where he pioneered mobile and digital clinical assessment technology, human neurophenotyping, and multi-modal data analytics to accelerate clinical development in neuroscience, immunology, rare diseases, and cardiometabolic disease. He is an accomplished clinical neurologist and neuroscientist who, prior to joining Pfizer, was a Professor at Boston University and Tufts University in the Departments of Biochemistry, Neurology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, and Biomedical Engineering.

David Berry

David Berry

Founder and CEO
Integral Health

David Berry is Founder and CEO of Integral Health. He has served a General Partner at Flagship Pioneering, having founded over 25 companies including Indigo Agriculture, Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Axcella Health (NASDAQ: AXLA), and Joule Unlimited. David has been broadly recognized as a world-leading innovator: elected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, named as Innovator of the Year by Technology Review from amongst its Annual TR35 list, and selected as one of 12 Innovators Reshaping Reality by the US State Department, alongside pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee. He holds over 200 patents and patent applications.  David and his have been awarded with over 150 additional awards and honors. He currently serves on the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), where he was a Founding Leadership Council Member. David received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD from MIT in Biological Engineering.

Robert Coughlin

Robert Coughlin

President and CEO
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

As President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Bob’s mission is to advance Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Over the last decade, Bob has truly become a champion for patients by ensuring innovative companies have the best environment possible to research, develop, and commercialize breakthrough therapies and cures for people around the world who need and deserve them. Bob has spent his career in both the public and private sectors. Before joining MassBio, he served as the Undersecretary of Economic Development within Governor Deval Patrick's administration, where he prioritized both healthcare and economic development issues and was a strong advocate for the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was elected as State Representative to the 11th Norfolk district for three terms. Bob has also held senior executive positions in the environmental services, capital management and venture capital industries. He brings passion and energy to all of his endeavors. 

Simon Dagenais

Simon Dagenais

Director, Global Center of Excellence in Real World Evidence
Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Simon Dagenais is a business-minded researcher and team leader with a clinical background. He has training in both epidemiology and health economics, with over 15 years of experience designing, conducting, and communicating scientific research to healthcare providers, hospital administrators, health plan executives and policy makers. Simon has extensive hands-on experience with study design, execution, and data analysis in the pharmaceutical, health plan, academic, and non-profit sectors, as demonstrated by numerous scientific publications and presentations. He is skilled in evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews, and health economics and outcomes research. Simon’s qualifications include: BA in General Studies from the University of Waterloo, MSc in Health economics, policy, and management from London School of Economics and Political Science, and PhD in Environmental health (epidemiology) from UC Irvine.

Faisal Khan

Faisal Khan

Executive Director, Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Faisal M. Khan, PhD is the Executive Director of Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at AstraZeneca. His work focuses on the intersections of data science, biostatistics, bioimaging, personalized medicine, and healthcare delivery. His career has encompassed all aspects of healthcare and biomedical analytics, including diagnostics, devices, clinical trials/therapeutics, and payers/insurance. Dr Khan has worked or consulted across academia and industry with both start-ups and Fortune-50 companies. He has over 90 published papers, abstracts, and patents.

Bill Leister

Bill Leister

Senior Vice President, Analytics, Informatics and Business Intelligence

Bill Leister is the Senior Vice President, Analytics, Informatics and Business Intelligence, at Pfizer. Bill leads a team of Digital Analytic Engineers, Data Analysts and Data Scientists. Bill and his team are responsible for transforming analytic delivery approaches and delivering an integrated analytic platform powered by Data Science and AI that enable compelling insights and breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. Bill is a digital leader who partners with business unit leaders, process stakeholders, customers and external partners to create optimized digital experiences to drive better business performance, improve healthcare consumer engagement and drive better outcomes for patient populations. Bill has spent nearly two decades in healthcare IT leader roles across a variety of responsibilities including: Bioinformatics, Analytics, Master Data Management, Architecture, Technical Product Management, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance and Software Engineering. Bill believes in developing strong technology teams that focus on understanding the needs of the customer and working collaboratively to deliver solutions that exceed expectations.

Krista McKee

Krista McKee

Head of Insights and Analytics, Takeda Data Sciences Institute
Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Krista McKee leads a group responsible for advancing how R&D interacts with data. To do this, the team gathers and architects clinical, scientific, operational and real-world data in the cloud, enables efficient business-driven interaction with this data through dashboards and other outputs, and employs advanced analytics/machine learning approaches to the data, where appropriate. Krista is known for her ability to effectively bring together a wide range of experts to design and develop tools that bring great value to the organization. The work of Krista and her team has been recognized within Takeda through multiple R&D-wide awards and department-level innovation awards as well as externally by a Bio-IT World Best Practices Award in 2018 and as a finalist for the EyeforPharma Most Valuable Data & Insights Initiative in 2019.

Niven Narain

Niven Narain

Co-founder, President and CEO
Berg, LLC

Dr Niven R. Narain is Co-Founder, President and CEO of Berg, LLC, a Boston-based biopharma company driving next generation drug development by combining patient-driven biology and Bayesian AI. He has been recognized as a pioneer in technology development at the intersection of Biology and AI and is inventor of the Interrogative Biology® platform that has fueled development of deep pipeline in oncology, metabolic, rare, and CNS diseases, namely BPM 31510 currently in Phase 2 trials for cancer, covered by over 550 issued and pending US and international patents. Dr Narain is a member of the NASA/Gene Lab Steering Committee, Advisor to DoD leadership on breast and prostate cancer and forged strategic partners with industry, academia, and US and UK governments. His research has been published in Nature Medicine and Cell and he is an industry thought leader in precision medicine, drug development, and AI/ML serving as a frequent speaker at Economist, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wired, and Aspen Ideas meetings in addition to many international meetings. Dr Narain has been featured on CNN, BBC, CNBC, Fox Business, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal among others. He was named to the Boston Business Journal top 40 leaders under 40 (2014), EY Entrepreneur of Year finalist (2018) and to the Deep Knowledge Analytics Top 100 AI Pioneers in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare (2019). Dr Narain was an invited participant to the Ditchley Foundation Conference in 2019. He is most passionate about improving patient care and enabling increased access to innovative medicines towards improved healthcare outcomes.


Chair and Moderators (2)

Sarah Neville

Sarah Neville

Global Pharmaceuticals Editor
Financial Times

Sarah Neville is Global Pharmaceuticals Editor of the Financial Times, a position she has held since 2016. She joined the Financial Times in 2001 and has held a series of senior roles, including Weekend News Editor, Analysis Editor, UK News Editor and Public Policy Editor. She began her career on local and regional newspapers, eventually becoming Political Editor of the Yorkshire Post. In 1995 she was awarded the Laurence Stern Fellowship on the Washington Post. 

Hannah Kuchler

Hannah Kuchler

US Pharma and Biotech Correspondent
Financial Times

Hannah Kuchler is US Pharma and Biotech Correspondent for the Financial Times, with a particular focus on how technology is transforming healthcare. For five years, Ms Kuchler served as FT’s San Francisco Correspondent where she covered Silicon Valley and technology with a focus on social media and cyber security. Ms Kuchler was previously a London-based UK news reporter for the FT, covering British politics and general UK news. Prior to this, she worked on the FT’s newsdesk, as Asia Correspondent for FT Tilt in Hong Kong, and covered US markets in New York.  Before joining the FT in 2009, Ms Kuchler was the Editor of The Oxford Student and won the Guardian’s Student Reporter of the Year award in 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Modern History from Balliol College, Oxford.


  • How is AI being used as a tool for drug discovery?
  • What is the role of AI in developing vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19?
  • How are companies using AI to extract value from data to produce real-world evidence?
  • How can pharma company cultures be adapted to the rise of AI
  • How can AI help pharma companies to become more patient-centric?


Events covering AI and data in pharma often take a limited view of their impact across the entire product lifecycle. We will approach the subject with a view to assessing the potential of data applications at every step from laboratory to patient while recognizing the challenge of bridging the gap between innovation and implementation.



Wherever you work and whatever you do in healthcare and life sciences, this event will give you fresh perspectives on how to be part of pharma’s data-driven future.



  • Gain access to 200 senior executives and influential stakeholders from across the US;
  • Brand alignment with the FT and its unrivalled credibility;
  • Demonstrate thought-leadership on the latest data applications;
  • Benefit from sustained international visibility through our advertising and marketing campaigns

Joe Hames
Sector Head - Pharma and Healthcare
M: +44 791 329 2038



The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Knowledge Partner (1)

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organisations create Change that Matters.

In more than 130 cities and 65 countries, our teams help clients across the private, public and social sectors shape bold strategies and transform the way they work, embed technology where it unlocks value, and build capabilities to sustain the change. Not just any change, but Change that Matters – for their organisations, their people, and in turn society at large.

Associate Sponsor (1) is the economic development agency of the Brussels-Capital Region (Belgium). aims to showcase Brussels as the most attractive location for business creation and development in Europe. fosters health care and life sciences related projects through its dynamic cluster offers customized support, free tools, and recognized expertise to help entrepreneurs boost their autonomy, streamline their decision-making, expand their knowledge, and widen their networks. The agency helps these entrepreneurs excel in gaining client trust and pushes them to grow  in Brussels… and beyond. is above all the sum product of over 300 dedicated, thorough, and passionate collaborators determined to support, encourage, and propel the most innovative and audacious businesses towards success…’ North-America offices are located in New York City, San Francisco, Montréal and Vancouver

Media Partner (1)

MassBio® is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 that represents and provides services and support for the world’s leading life sciences supercluster.
MassBio is committed to advancing Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives.
Representing 1,200+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, disease foundations and other organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, MassBio leverages its unparalleled network of innovative companies and industry thought leaders to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services.


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